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Monday, 11 September 2017

Chat with Erman Barardi called "Top Networker" by Huffington Post

Erman in LA 

You've been called "Top Networker" by The Huffington Post and "Next In Hollywood" by NXUP Magazine. How does that make you feel?

No shame - I'm going to pull the Asian American card! I'm trying to represent! I think it's cool I am getting that recognition. For me, it's affirmation that I'm in the right industry. In 2011, I was let go from the first and only office job I ever had. Even then I picked my own hours. Still, I knew then I would pursue an entertainment career full on. Other people are watching what I'm doing, so I'm grateful that other people gave me those titles. I am sure there others like me, but I'm not complaining. I'll take the titles! I haven't even sold a script yet or made a big Hollywood movie, so it means a lot so have eyeballs on me already.  Who knows, maybe Erman Baradi, Forbes 30 Under 30 is next.

How did you start networking and what advice can you give to someone who doesn't have much experience? What does it mean as well?

Well, I'm from Virginia so for me in my 20's it was about connecting to an industry on the other side of the country. I had to strategize. It wasn't going to be a situation where I move to LA with $20 and get a food service job and wait for something to happen. I knew I would live with my parents for a while to cut costs. I would travel back and forth to build sky mileage and lay a foundation before making the full move. I did my first Hollywood internship to slap it on my resume. Then, I went to work on my social media and branding myself. Then, I started doing interviews first to network with talents, managers, agents, and publicists. Got a writing gig without prior interview experience so I spent my last $5 on a Rolling Stone and figured it out. Companies started hiring me for events. Then, when I ventured into panel events I used those contacts to get guest speakers. From there, I no longer had to work on referrals but directly contact industry reps. My advice would be to do something big that separates yourself from others vying for the same work you are. People work remotely nowadays. You can do anything with the internet.

From the networking, you started event producing. What is your favorite thing about it?

I would say the purpose of it all is to see other lives be impacted. We've received testimonials of people who've landed meetings or reps after attending our events, and some who found collaborators on projects. Sometimes, I think back to the beginning and wonder what if I never took the plunge into events and even interviews. What if I never took the internship that started it all. Groups of people would have never met.

I think this is like our third interview, and each time you  have something new and exciting going on. From producing events and now producing a film. How did that all start?

From event producer to film producer. I love it. My MixKnowledgy and The Film Empire partner Brandon Waites is a good tag team partner. We're both hustlers and networkers. Admittedly, it can be hard having a partner. It's been proven that I can do things alone. So imagine going from 100% to 50% on something I can do solo. But, it is always beneficial to to have that second voice to see something that you may not see. We are both about the bigger picture, our end goals. Sometimes one of us can meet someone and the other can help the relationship flourish. I randomly connected with screenwriter Jeff Howard on Twitter for one of our contests, and Brandon was able to help segue that relationship into a filmmaking relationship. At this point in time we can't talk too much about it, but we are grateful Jeff has been so supportive and faithful of our team.

What as a producer do you do for those who don't know what a producer does in Hollywood?

I am still a "new guy" so I'm still learning admittedly. But something I can tell you is it deals with a lot of putting out fires. We have to keep the cast and crew motivated and make sure there are as less headaches as possible. The director has to be able to work without huge problems getting in the way. It's funny watching a movie with friends who simply enjoy movies and are not interested in the business. They don't know how much crap these people have to go through to get the movie made.

What's next for you? Any more events?

We just had our summer party and panel in DTLA at The Reserve nightclub on July 28th! It marked over 250 speakers all together in the last few years. We have speakers from THIS IS US, WESTWORLD, INSECURE, and a ton more. Visit thefilmempire.eventbrite.com. We also have our ongoing filmmaking and screenwriting mentorship contests! We just named the winner of our first filmmaking mentor contest, so those meetings are taking place at the end of this month. Great mentor lineups! Our first mentor winner Daniel Mentz of "Slipaway" had invaluable meetings across the board. You can check out our contests at thefilmempire.com. We teamed up with City Gala for City Summit on September 8th, then my welcoming party in LA is at The Roosevelt Hotel on the 11th of September. I have a music panel on Studio City on September 28th(projectmus3.eventbrite.com).We are collaborating with Tesla and UCLA's Bruin Entertainment Network for a women in TV and film lineup om October 4th, which includes speakers from LA LA LAND, THE DEFENDERS, MARCOS, 13 REASONS WHY, HBO, Legendary, and more! October 14th I launch my side project highlighting Asian American success stories called Innovasian (innovasian.eventbrite.com). On October 21st I have a music panel on Virginia (projectmuse757.eventbrite). We have a free Q&A with SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING cinematographer Salvatore Totino on November 7th in LA (salvatorela.eventbrite.com). I have something in the works in NYC on November 9th to be announced. Then celebrating my birthday at The Reserve in DTLA on November 17th (erman28.eventbrite.com). Plenty more to come! I hope to acquire more film work.

Who do you look up to in the entertainment industry?

Crazy story. I don't usually get starstruck, but the other day Brandon and I saw Quentin Tarantino at the movie theater. I've never been so nervous in my life. It took us a while to man up and approach him.

Do you think that entertainers and writers can change the world or our perspective on it?

Absolutely! Politics is such a turn off to the majority of people, but what do most people do? Watch movies and television. I believe entertainment is one of those most immediate forms of influence. A impactful piece of cinema SHOULD change your perspective on life.

For those who are getting to know you, tell me three fun facts about you.

I don't know if these are fun facts, but maybe these are interesting to women - um, people. I'm a Sagitarrius. My favorite store is H&M. And my current favorite music artist is Ed Sheeran and JC Cooper.

Final question, What keeps you going to do what you do from event producing to now film producing? What inspires YOU?

I want to make movies, so I can use the platform for social good. My goal is to one day launch foundations and charities that truly change lives. Being in the arts, of course, art programs would be one of them. I want to see other careers launch thanks to what we do.

Follow Erman on social media: 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Interview with Marina Amaral of Brazil

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth on June 2, 1953

I'm so excited today to share with you an interview  with Marina Amaral who specializes in photo colorization. She combines two of my favorite things: history and photography. She takes a black and white photo which has usually has some historic interest and puts her special touch and transforms the picture to color. She also goes in detail of who is in the picture and gives you some information on them. Read more about her in this interview. 

How long have you’ve been restoring and colorizing black and white photos?

I started two years ago, in 2015.

What is the first one you ever did? 

I think it was a portrait of a Confederate soldier of the American Civil War. Now I look at it and I think it’s terrible, but I felt really proud when I managed to finish it.

What do you love about colorizing black and white photos?

I love to look at a photo in color for the first time and feel that I’m giving myself and the viewer the opportunity to see that particular event or person in color for the first time ever. It’s almost a magical feeling.

With all your pictures,they all seem to be tied to history.I’ve enjoyed looking at many of them. I see them and I think “it’s now” instead of say 1925 when the actual photo was taken.How does it make you feel as an artist to show the photos in a different light which colors can do to any photograph and do you see  yourself as an artist? I think you are and that you create beautiful magic with your skills.

Thank you! This practice of colorization of black and white photos involves lots of  different things – research, historical knowledge, ability to use the software, but it also involves and requires an artistic sensibility, which is something that makes all the difference, in my opinion. I had never seen myself as an artist before, but now I realize that not everything depends on the technique. You need to have this sensibility to be able to look at the black and white photo and create in your mind the image that you want to reproduce. So when I look at the photo for the first time, I immediately begin to visualize the lightning, the atmosphere that I’d like to create, the details and the colors that I want to use.

Your first book “Colour of Time” which will which you collaborated with bestselling historian Dan Jones on. I actually read about you through Dan Jones' twitter feed and became fascinated with your work through him. How did you and Dan come up with the idea and how did you decide to pick which photographs?

Dan and I met and he invited me to develop this project a little over a year ago. He already had the concept on his mind, which was something that I loved since the beginning. We are trying to tell a story not only through the texts, but also through the photographs. So they are not being randomly chosen.

What can the readers expect to see with the book?

We’re going to talk about the history of every nation of the world from 1850s to 1950s, which means that we are covering a hundred years of world history on this first book. We are talking not only about events that have taken place in Europe and the United States, but are also exploring facts that are little known but which are highly important in the history of places such as China, Japan, Canada, Mexico,  etc. We have 200 exclusive colorized photos and Dan’s narrative anchoring each image in its chronological context. It’s a format that has never been explored before. We have high expectations, and hopefully, people will appreciate the effort that we’re putting on it. I can guarantee it will be a fantastic book!

Do you have a favorite period in history? 

I love the medieval era.

Is there a photograph that you would like to restore and colorize that you haven’t had a chance to do? 

I’d like to do something with the photographs of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force in World War II, but unfortunately it is very hard to have access to them in high resolution.

Do you have a favorite one and if so why?

My favorite is the one of Czeslawa Kwoka, the young girl that was murdered in Auschwitz, for a number of reasons. I wanted to give her the chance to present herself, to “say” her name and to tell her story. Judging by the messages that I receive almost every day, I think I managed to do that and I feel very glad and proud of it.

Tell me three fun facts about you.

I can tell you three random facts about me.
  • I was hit by a truck when I was 12.
  • I’m self-taught and I don’t get along very well when I need to take regular classes
  • I’ve never watched Titanic.

I share motivational quotes and inspiring quotes with my readers. Do yo have one you can share?

The greatest failure is not to try.

If you could change one thing in history, what would that be?

The Holocaust

Anne Frank
JFK and Jackie

Abraham Lincoln


Follow Marina Amaral on her social media to learn more about her and her work:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marinamaral2?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marinamaralarts/

Website: http://www.marinamaral.com/

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Meet Terayle Hill ...writer of upcoming film "Fatima"

Terayle Marquis Hill ( photo credit -Facebook Page)

Terayle Hill on set of "Being Mary Jane"

  Here's a snippet of my interview with Terayle Hill who was born in Los Angeles and lives in Atlanta. The rest of the interview will be put in "Infinite Visions Magazine", a magazine created for creatives coming out later this year in which I'm Creative Director and Editor of working along with Jamall McMillan. 
Introducing Terayle...He's an actor, director as well as writer. He's acted in shows "The Quad" on BET an most recently "Being Mary Jane." He has written the film "Fatima" which he has an IndieGoGo campaign for it to raise funds for film equipment, compensation for crew members and actors, locations, wardrobe, composing and scoring and crafty (food on set). I know he appreciates any amount of contribution that you can give. 

Chat with Terayle...

Did anyone inspire you to act?

Honestly, I feel like I've always wanted to do it my entire life. I was always (more) interested in Writing and Directing, though. When I was a Sophomore in College and wrote and Directed my first idea; but I was met with the challenge of acting in it too because my lead backed out. Honestly, that was my first time on camera. Based on the opinions of others... I guess I wasn't half bad. I deciding taking it seriously when my friend (and now fiance') Loren Lott introduced me to her agent. Since then, it's shot up the list to one of my biggest passions.

Who do you look up to in the entertainment industry?

I have a few legends that I look up to, and I will give you the top 5: Will Smith, Cuba Gooding Jr., Al Pacino, Denzel Washington,  and of course, Jamie Foxx. But as far as people I look up to who are closer to my age, I'd have to say Michael B. Jordan, Michael Ealy, Nate Parker, and I have a great respect for what Kevin Hart has done too! If I got to work with any of them on screen, it would be an honor.

Not only are you're an actor but also a director. I've watched the short that you directed and also played a small part in it "Largo", what did you enjoy about directing versus acting?

Great question. Like I mentioned, my love for Directing (or Production in general) was instilled in me much before I got in front of the camera. I just graduated from Clark Atlanta University's Film Program! So Directing has always been a goal of mine. But now I don't know which I like better... I guess it's whichever I'm doing at the time. And actors job is to show up to set and be who they have been casted to be. However, the Director is there at the start of the Production and gets to be there until the final project is exported and completed. I think that's the only difference as far as gratification.

Will there be a full feature film of "Largo"? I have to admit that there was more that I wanted to know about the story.

 Ahh... I'll have a conversation with the writer and get back to you. Major shoutout to Javon Johnson as well. He believed in me enough to allot me that awesome opportunity so again... thanks JJ!"

I know recently you were filming for the show "Being Mary Jane", can you tell me about the character that you'll be playing ?

I think I can. I know the name can be found online so hopefully I'm not saying too much. But my character is "AKILI". I won't explain how my character is introduced. But I will say my characters story line has to do with Raven Goodwin's character, and I think people are really going to enjoy the episodes my character is a part of.

In one word .. describe yourself.


The new film written by Terayle Hill . Description from IndieGoGo campaign page: The film we are trying to create with , "FATIMA" is something original that we feel will not only educate viewers on topics such as "Alzheimer's" and "Foster Care", but will also bring about a different kind of love story to the big screen.

Please follow "Fatima" on social media

"Film and theatre are about capturing moments: things we wish we'd said, heartaches that haven't healed, the thrill of the unknown." 
Unknown -quote from Pinterest 

Grace Kling...Dreaming BIG in the Big Apple...

Photo credit : Jermaine Corey

Grace with her boyfriend Damon Gillespie Photo credit: Femme Yellow Photography

Grace Kling, beautiful young lady from Dalton, Georgia. She is living and pursuing her dreams in the Big Apple. She has her own show on YouTube aptly titled "The Grace Show" (link at end of interview). She is performing with an improv group in New York as well as being on stage as a comedian. Read more about her and what she loves about New York and and does she believe in fairy tales. 

Introducing Grace....

I've seen you perform in musicals and plays, you're quite versatile in talent from dancing to singing to acting and most recently comedian. Impressive! What or who inspired you to want to be a part of the entertainment industry?

Well my mom put me in plays starting at 5 before I could even read because I wouldn't stop talking, and she knew I would enjoy it. Once I told my Dad I wanted to be an actor he made me "research" acting by watching the best of the best. I'd watch four movies a weekend and review each one from "All About Eve" to "Memento" before I hit middle school.

What's your ultimate dream that you want to see to come true?

I want to wake up everyday doing something I love. Whether its being  creative and doing comedy, or performing, or even taking care of a family. My dream is to never stop having fun and challenging myself, it's so easy to be lazy. Because I love being lazy.

Who do you look up to in entertainment industry?

People like Steve Martin who go from stand up, to film, to play writing, to creating a Broadway musical, to having a music career. People like that amaze me because they don't let any industry limit them. Also actors who get to do voice acting, that to me looks like the most fun!

Now, you've been in New York little over a year. What do you love about the city and the experiences you've had so far?

I love that literally every week, my boyfriend and I can do something different. Whether it's go to a food festival or a improv showcase or rush to a Broadway show. 

What motivates you?

When I see a friend accomplishing their dreams, I want to be in that club too. I have a girlfriend opening a store this summer, another doing light tech at Julliard, and another going to grad school. Surrounding yourself with positive, motivated people is the only way to survive especially in this city.

I share motivational and inspirational quotes with my readers. Do you have one you can share with me?

"There's power in looking silly and not caring that you do". Amy Poehler

Who are your biggest supporters?

Of course my family, my second family the Gonzalez's and close friends follow my career which I appreciate so much. Also my boyfriend Damon, I don't know any body else who would read two person plays with me for college auditions at 1am.

Meryl Streep is quotes as saying "Acting is about being someone different. It's finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there." Do you agree?

Well. Meryl is Meryl. I think the only way I can be invested in a character is if I find some of myself in them and then because I have to draw from my own experiences. Otherwise it's unauthentic.

While in New York, you started doing stand up,was there anyone who inspired you?

Yes, when I was little my parents showed me tapes of Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Steve Martin... the list goes on. I have always liked telling stories and enjoyed making people laugh. Why not marry the two?

Tell me about your show on Youtube that's called "The Grace Show". How much fun is it? And by the way I love it. You and Damon are hilarious together and your facial expressions crack me up.

Essentially I created it because I had so many ideas and things to talk about, Thank God for the internet. It's a lot of fun and luckily Damon is my editor. I ramble for 30 minutes and he makes it 5. I think we all need a creative outlet.

One of your comments from your act in New York, you said, "What I have noticed about being little, is that people like to carry you." In that you're having fun poking at your height which is hilarious in your delivery of the lines. How much fun is it for you to be on stage as a comedian?

It is honestly horrifying. I literally look like a troll next to some of these women. I mean hell look at your modern female comics like Amy Schumer. I am also in NYC and going up after guys who've been doing this for 30 years. It isn't easy but once you relax all you can do is be yourself.

What is the writing process for your jokes?

It's unorthodox, I'll be on the subway or somewhere and I'll think "Oh that's funny... but I can't say that out loud right now." So I write it down in my notebook. Or I'll be talking to Damon at home and he'll go "Oh my gosh write that down right now that is a bit!"

You're quite active in fitness by working out and eating right. What's your routine?

I am no good at these things but luckily my uncle is. He owns a personal training gym and able to train Damon and I from GA (House of Payne) He lays out our fitness routine as well as our meal plan weekly. I eat around 6 times a day now. Our cheat meal is pretty ridiculous once a week mainly consisting of pasta or cheese or chocolate.

Do you believe in fairy tales?

You're asking the girl who wears tutus on a regular basis if she believes in fairy tales?

Ahh, you have a point there. In your opinion, what makes a woman beautiful?

I've always struggled with that. I think as girls we're exposed to so much bullshit about what is pretty. I thought I needed big boobs or bigger eyes or longer legs to be acceptable. The world loves people, women, who love themselves. As mama RuPaul says, "if ya can't love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else, can I get an amen?!"

Tell me three fun facts about you.

Three fun facts
1. I can quote "Wayne's World"
2. I would argue that the deli behind my house with fresh Mutz (mozzarella) is the best on the planet. Which is why we live in Hoboken, NJ.
3. I have to shave my arm pits twice a day, it grows really fast. Thanks genes.

Follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/gracekling

Monday, 5 June 2017

Chat with Fiona Bates ...working her dream in LA.

"I think confidence is what makes a woman beautiful." Fiona Bates

Fiona with Larry Blackman and George Cisneros (actors on show).  Their show has won numerous awards.

My latest chat is with Fiona Bates of Los Angeles. She's a writer, actress, and a musician as well.  We talked about everything from the web series "Dog Gone It!" that she is a writer on as well as acting in. She's also writer of award winning web series"Love on the Line" which is on YouTube. 

Introducing Fiona ...

When did you know that you wanted to be in the entertainment industry? What sparked your interest?

My 2nd grade teacher pulled my parents aside one day and told them to put me into theatre and I’ve been grateful ever since! But, truthfully I think I officially “caught the bug” after seeing movie Grease. All I wanted was to wear red lipstick and be Sandra Dee!

You’re not only an actor but a writer and musician, what do you love the most?

Gosh, I love them all! The last few years though, I’ve focused mainly on writing and acting. However, I’ve been slowly getting back into music with my fiancee (who also did the theme song for our show DogGone It!) with our new Virtual Reality meditation project, Kamea VR. It’s gonna be really cool!

You’re writer and actor on the web series “DogGone It! ”. You played the sister to Larry. Tell me a little about your character and how much fun has it been?

I LOVE playing Fibi! She’s the best. Her ambitions are so different than Larry’s. He has a real honest desire to be an artist and an actor… whereas Fibi will do just about anything (and anyone) to get into the spotlight and up her instagram likes. The contrast is fun and I think sheds light on the spectrum of “talent” out here in Los Angeles. Yet, the part I love most about our show is how, Giovanni wins out over both of them by just being a dog and not giving a shit! Ha!

You and Ross Fancher are both writers for the show, what’s your process with writing with another writer?

I love writing with people. It helps mix in ideas you might not have come up with on your own, and makes the process more fun. Ross and I have a great thing going. I bring to the table my experience of acting, creating characters and emotional arcs, and he brings a raw sense of humor and a pulse on what’s current and “trending”. It’s a great match.

Fiona with Ross Fancher 

The show has received several awards and recognition from film festivals from best comedy, official selection from festivals as well and you received best actress, how does that make you feel?

It feels amazing. Many web series never get off the ground and the ones that do sometimes launch and remain unseen. So, to be acknowledged is a really big deal. We are all over the moon!

Would you like to see the show go to a network or Netflix? What’s your vision for it?

Yes! I think this show could do very well on networks like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. The concept is simple and very funny. I mean who doesn’t love dogs and laughing? I would love to take this series as far as we can!

Without Giovanni, there wouldn’t be a show and well of course Larry. What’s it like working with Giovanni? I imagine it’s probably a whole another ballgame working with a dog. Is he a pampered pooch? He’s just adorable.

It’s funny but of all the characters, I think mine actually handles him the most! He’s wonderful and seriously SO easy! It’s no wonder why he is already a successful working “dog actor”.

As for the characters for the show, how did you create George’s character (Jorge Lopez)?

The character Jorge Lopez is awesome. Again, I wanted to shed light on some of the seriously shady agents and managers in this town that take advantage of artists like us. So, this was a great opportunity to do so. :)

With Larry being creator of show since it’s based on his life with Giovanni, how much input does the creator have?

 Larry gave us a wonderful idea to build upon. As the top dog, he gives his input all the time, yet also lets us add our two cents and be creative as well.
Fiona with Ross Fancher and Larry Blackman

In Hollywood and everywhere in general, it seems so much emphasis is put on the outer beauty of someone especially women. What do you think makes a woman beautiful?

Great question. Not being a “classic” beauty, I’ve personally struggled with this a lot. I’ve often been told that I’m “hard to cast” because I not a cookie-cutter type of gal. I’m tall with an athletic framed with curves. Yet, it’s been refreshing to see that we are slowly starting to celebrate different and unique brands of beauty. I think women like Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson have been helping to pave that road for us…. it’s very liberating. I think confidence is what makes a woman beautiful.

Julia Roberts has a quote, “Loving what you do is secret to everything”, do you agree?

Yes. This industry is very hard and I sometimes can lose sight of that. But I’m grateful my inner drive and passion keep me in the game.

Tell me three fun facts about you.

Fun facts.
 1. I am born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii
 2. I’ve been “gluten free” and meditating for about 13 years. (WAY before it was trendy.)
 3. I am getting back into tennis (As a kid I was #1 12-under)

Who are your biggest supporters? 

Ooh… I have many. More than I sometimes realize. But, I’d say my mom, dad and fiancee are the biggest for sure.

Fiona with one of her biggest supporters...her fiancee-James Emley.

What advice would you give to someone who is wanting to go into the entertainment industry? 
The best piece of advice I got before coming to Hollywood was this, “You’ve got to BUILD your own car… then drive it.” Don’t expect anyone to hand you your career… go out and MAKE it.

Follow Fiona on her social media:

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3513009/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fifibates?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fifi_bates/

"Dog Gone It!" facebook:

Giovanni..one of the stars of the show

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